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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Self-esteem, Chance, and Faith

The key question is what differentiates faith from wagering at the Belmont Stakes?  That is, what distinguishes faith (which involves risk) from gambling (which also involves risk). The essential difference between gambling and faith is the source of self-esteem. When we realize that we are a child of God and that he loves us individually and is forgiving and loving and thus bestows upon us unconditional self-esteem, the need for works (and ironically gambling is a bastard form of work) as an avenue to self-esteem is made nugatory. If I should win at gambling, this artificially reinforces my self-esteem which was my underlying objective. The great danger, of course, is that I will assume that such self-esteem when garnered is inherent within me due to my great skill at gambling. That is, I continue gambling exponentially until I lose it all–proving to me that I'm a loser, which was my greatest fear at the outset.  Faith in God is quite  another matter for it always sustains self-esteem--it requires no incessant "winning." In fact since we are loved, we seek to love in a mirroring fashion. Faith with the objective of expressing kindness is quite different from the essentially selfish hyper-certainty that drives a gambler.

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